CORSHAM Foodbank has launched a desperate appeal for support after experiencing a 20 per cent increase in demand during the summer holiday. The volunteer-run Corsham Churches Foodbank says it has dealt with around 1,000 people needing help in the past 12 months.

Steve Drew, the chairman of its trustees, said: “It is absolutely dreadful. We have organised a meeting with Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan to alert her to the situation.

“There will be a debate in Parliament in October about holiday hunger.”

The foodbank says demand always peaks ahead of the longer school holidays in the summer, at Christmas and at Easter.

Some parents have been hit by delays in paying Universal Credit benefits and others have children who normally have school meals but find it difficult to feed them during the holidays.

“Some parents are going without meals themselves in order to feed their children,” Mr Drew said.

“The problem is getting worse and coincides with the difficulties in obtaining Universal Credit. Some people who are on zero hours contracts don’t know how many hours they are going to work or how much they will be paid. It’s a difficult situation.”

The foodbank is appealing for donations of soup, cereal, baked beans, pasta sauce, tea and coffee, cordial, tinned fruit and vegetables, rice pudding, longlife fruit juices and jam.

Mr Drew added: “As a non-profit making organisation, run by volunteers, it is only with the help of donations that we’re able to continue our work and help those around us who are in need of our emergency support.”

The foodbank is receiving help from Corsham Co-op members, who provide a funding boost and benefit the Foodbank through the Co-op’s membership scheme.

Members receive a five per cent reward when they swipe their membership card when buying own brand products and services, with the Co-op donating a further one per cent to local causes, which includes Corsham Churches Foodbank.

Robbie Phillips, Co-op store manager, said: “As a community retailer we are committed to connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference locally.

“By working together, we can help to make a difference to the lives of people locally who are facing difficulty.

“We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our members, customers and colleagues whose generous donations and support, no matter how small, is making a big difference to people in need in our community.”

“Our members are also helping to make a difference locally. Simply by swiping their membership card when they shop with us they are raising much-needed funding for organisations in the area such as Corsham Churches Foodbank who contribute to improving local life.”

Other local causes currently benefiting include Corsham Ranger Guides, and Neston Pre-school Playgroup. Items for the foodbank can be donated in the Co-op in Martingate.

Donations can also be left in St Bartholomew’s Church, Neston Church, Gastard Church, St Patrick’s RC Church, Corsham Baptist Church or delivered to the Foodbank’s base at St Aldhelm’s Church in Pickwick Road, from 10-11.30am on Tuesdays or 10-12noon on Saturdays.

For more information and ways to help, visit

Other local causes currently benefiting from the Co-op’s Membership scheme include Corsham Ranger Guides, and Neston Pre-school Playgroup.

Co-op membership is available by popping in store or visiting: